Welcome to Comicon.com’s Best of the Year Awards, gathering the best comics and comics talent of the strange year that was 2020. This year we will be awarding in the following categories: Best Original Graphic Novels, Best Comic Series, Best Single Comic Issues, Best Writers, Best Artists, Best Cover Artists, Best Colorists, Best Letterers, Best Digital/Webcomics, and Most Progressive Comics.
Contributors to Comicon’s Best of the Year Awards this year include: James Ferguson, Oliver MacNamee, Cesareo Garasa, Rachel Bellwoar, Scott Redmond, Tito James, Gary Catig, Tony Thornley, Richard Bruton, and Erik Amaya.
The following are Comicon’s 7 Best Cover Artists of 2020.
7. Stephanie Hans for Die (Image Comics)
Hans’s covers for Kieron Gillen‘s RPG-based series, Die, have a certain ethereal magic to them that simply stuns. Her knack for eye-catching layouts only adds to her ability, as a cover artists, to capture your attention on any crowded shelf. She describes herself as a ‘digital Impressionists’, which you can see in the fluidity of her figures and strong female character portraits.
— Olly MacNamee
6. Kaare Andrews for Year Zero (Aftershock)
Andrews’ covers for the zombie-apocalypse mini-series Year Zero are elegant, understated and superb; each hinting at the horrors within with an exacting, sophisticated, and witty aesthetic. Andrews’ art is opaque in its delivery: you don’t really know what’s happening, but you know it’s bad … real bad, and it sure is lovely. Whether it’s an RV with the words “ZOMBIE KILLER” on it or a bloody Japanese subway train ready to let its passengers loose, Andrews’ art manages to meld the pedestrian, the vast, the mysterious, the serene, and the horrific into some truly frame-worthy work.
— Cesareo Garasa
5. Pepe Larraz for X of Swords, Outlawed (Marvel Comics), et al
In the same year that he showed us what he can really do with interiors, Larraz has also transitioned into being one of the best cover artists in the business. From his stunning battle scenes on X Of Swords, to his dynamic and alluring Black Cat, to the angry defiance of Marvel young heroes in Outlawed, every Larraz cover is a stunning work of art. His star continues to rise and we can’t wait to see what’s next.
— Tony Thornley
4. Jamal Campbell for Power Rangers (Boom! Studios)
Epic. That’s how you can describe every cover by Jamal Campbell. Whether its showing a slew of brightly colored Power Rangers leaping into action or the newest Green Lantern standing triumphantly, Campbell conveys a tone of strength, power, and frankly, coolness in every image. When you pick up a book with one of his covers, you know you’re in for some action and excitement. The covers are a mark that stands out with his signature style. They’ve practically defined the entire run of Power Rangers comics across different creative teams for years.
— James Ferguson
3. Jorge Jimenez for Batman (DC Comics)
While he thrilled us with his Batman pages, Jimenez knocked it out of the park with his covers. Each cover told a story and created a Gotham City that readers wanted to dive into right alongside the Dark Knight, Catwoman and Nightwing. They were thrilling, immersive, and — best of all — perfect phone and laptop backgrounds for any DC Comics fan!
— Tony Thornley
2. Stanley ‘Artgerm’ Lau for Batman #92 Variant, et al
A cover artist who creates sensual, sensational front covers with a twist of manga. Undoubtedly following the contemporary ‘good-girl’ art aesthetic by mixing sexuality with that manga styling as seen through a soft-focus lens, his covers continue to be some of the most collectible around.
— Olly MacNamee
1. Dan Mora for Once & Future (Boom! Studios)
Evoking elements of both horror films and horror comics while also integrating mythology, classic cover composition, and his own impressive takes on the characters contained within the pages of Once & Future, Mora dares you to read on with his covers for the series. Whether using the negative space to highlight a character or a splash of figures, colors, and framing, each cover is a wonder to behold. Also, it is interesting to see the overall design evolve from the first arc’s use of a reflection within a blade (the last such cover being January’s issue #6) to a completely new aesthetic with each of the subsequent 2020 covers. Our favorite is likely issue #10, with its gorgeous foreground composition set against an unusual gray background, but each of them is a suitable-for-framing work of art.
— Erik Amaya